Truman Bethurum and the Origin of the Demonic Theory of UFO – Part 3

The earliest full-fledged expression of the Demonic Hypothesis of UFO comes from a 37-page book written by Rev. Walter Vincent Grant, Sr. (1913-1983) called Men in the flying saucers identified: not a mystery! The book was published in late 1954 [the earliest advertisement I could find for the book was in the October 1954 edition…

Truman Bethurum and the Origin of the Demonic Theory of UFO – Part 2

Writing in the May 1955 issue of Flying Saucer Review, Desmond Judge summed up the issue of “Occultism and Flying Saucers.” In the article of the same name, he wrote the following; “Since 1947, when reported observations of Flying Saucers began to come in from all parts of the world in ever-increasing numbers, there has…

Truman Bethurum and the Origin of the Demonic Theory of UFO – Part 1

I’ve been researching the roots of Christian Ufology lately. I’ve already written on initial Christian reactions to the advent of the flying saucer phenomenon and how the idea that UFOs were Biblically foretold harbingers of God’s judgment was further developed by charismatic and Pentecostal preachers affiliated with the Voice of Healing magazine. Ironically, it was (again)…

John Weldon and Zola Levitt Take On ‘The Bible and Life in Outer Space’

John Weldon and Zola Levitt are best known as the authors of UFOs: What on Earth is Happening? The 1975 book was influential in popularizing the Demonic Eschatological Hypothesis of UFO, especially because it received encouraging back cover blurbs from Hal Lindsey (author of The Late, Great Planet Earth (1970)) and Walter R Martin (aka…

The First Abductee: A Humorist’s Fiction?

In researching the origins of the UFO phenomenon, especially the advent of the Flying Saucer Craze, one is continually surprised by what one discovers.  While looking up material on the origins of Rev. Orval Lee Jaggers’ belief that flying saucers were kidnapping human beings, I ran across a humorist column that gave a tongue-in-cheek contactee tale…

Early Christian Views on Flying Saucers: The Early 1950s & Voice of Healing 

In the early 1950s, Christians were still trying to make sense of the flying saucer phenomenon.  Men associated with the Pentecostal Voice of Healing magazine were among the first on record to weigh in. Gordon Lindsay In July 1950, Gordon Lindsay wrote an article for Voice of Healing called “Prophetic Significance of The Flying Saucer”…

Why the Term “Flying Saucers” Wasn’t “An Historic Misquote”

I think it’s high time we shot one enduringly false UFO meme down. I’m pretty sure most people have heard the standard tale of how the term flying saucers came to be. On June 25, 1947, The East Oregonian ran a brief story by Bill Bequette with the heafline “Impossible! Maybe, But Seein’ Is Believin’,…

Early Fundamentalist Exotheology

Fundamentalism is used as a by-word these days and perhaps much of their reputation is deserved. I used to joke that I was trying to put the “fun” back into fundamentalism because the “duh” and the “mental” were already well covered. Originally, Christian fundamentalism wasn’t about mangling the doctrine of separation to justify a cloistered…

Early Christian Views of Flying Saucers: 1947

One of the earliest reports of Christian interpretation of the flying saucer phenomenon came from Kenneth Arnold himself. On June 27, 1947, newspapers across the US ran a story in which Arnold “said that a preacher called him from Texas and informed him that the strange objects Arnold claims to have seen batting through the…